Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The lesson of balance

It was a journey getting into the studio today, but I am here now. I lingered in bed as the sub-zero temperatures pawed at our old-house windows. Usually, I'd be up at 6 on Tuesday and headed out the door, dropping the kids at the bus and depositing myself at the pool for a mile of laps. Just too damn cold, I told myself. They weren't going to school and I wasn't stepping out, no matter how bundled, at six below.

Seemingly out of nowhere, I snapped at Lily, my 13-year-old, as I was hastily gathering everything I needed to get here. She was trying to control what I was saying to myself as I mumbled the list of everyone else's needs I was tending to before I could get to mine. She was also in the midst of pushing me toward a house full of kids today. I dislike when the anger eeks out. It reminds me that I have unfinished business.

Interestingly, I was going to blog about retreat today; how I typically indulge in one in January and haven't yet this year. I was thinking that maybe I don't have to because I am taking a series of daily retreats, a slower pace this month that has filled my annual need for solitude and reflection.

Early this month, I'd been looking forward to a daylong retreat to let go of last year and look ahead to 2014. Sounded perfect for me and it was literally around the corner, five minutes away. And then a touch of the flu hit and dashed those plans. Generously, the retreat leader met with me last week to give me materials, talk through what transpired and encourage me to do the work on my own. We even set an appointment for a month so I could share this particular journey. Have I even opened the folder to begin? No

Have I regularly been spending time in centering prayer? No, I take three minutes with the reading, then move on because there is so much work awaiting me. Of course the Thomas Keating quotes are deep and worth savoring, I just can't devote the time I'd like.

And, I am certain, swimming would have burned off the emotions I hurled at Lily. I really want to learn what those bubbling emotions signal. They caught me off guard as I'd spent last night with close friends, receiving a massage from one and wonderful dinner from the other. I'd slept great and could relax into the massage this morning instead of pushing myself out of bed at the sound of the alarm. Honestly, though, I was disappointed by how achy I felt. My muscles and connective tissue had been unearthed, stretched, soothed and put to rest. I'd detoxed with herbal tea and lots of water, nixing the tempting red wine my companions were drinking.

I was out of kilter this morning. Kids off school, me off schedule with no exercise and I was racing to get to the studio to blog and spend some time in stillness. Not to mention the Artsy Fartsy postcards I need to send, the workshop news release that needs to get out, the expense report to file, the mission statement to revise, etc. Much as I dislike it, I have a daily regimen I must follow if I want to maintain some normalcy living with fibromyalgia. Sometimes that makes me angry. Why do I have to spend at least an hour or so exercising daily, another 20 minutes taking supplements and doing the Netti pot? Then eat an allergy-free breakfast and pack a similar lunch? And, where do I fit in a spiritual practice? Optimum centering prayer suggests 20 minutes twice a day. Seems like a dream while I have kids at home.

The world's ingrained message tells me to speed up and fit more in. Spirit says to step back, breath deep, recollect and actually be grateful that I know what I must do. That the emotions swirling and leaking out tell me I must retreat, recalibrate and set myself in right order for the coming year. For me, there are no short cuts.

• What happens if I get off rhythm, out of sync or off schedule?
• What role does regimen play in my life?
• What's the balance between physical, mental and spiritual?
• How do I retreat?
• How does that recalibrate me and makes things right with Spirit?

lured by mother
nature's violence

using it as an excuse
against daily discipline,
giving into the mind
at the expense of
body and spirit

when the froth of
anger is lodged
at another, an

how many times
must I learn the lesson
of balance?

Listen to this post:

No comments:

Post a Comment